Astronomy Picture Of the Day (APOD)NICER at Night
A payload on board the International Space Station, the Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) twists and turns to track cosmic sources of X-rays as the station orbits planet Earth every 93 minutes. During orbit nighttime, its X-ray detectors remain on.
Lynds Dark Nebula 1251
Stars are forming in Lynds Dark Nebula (LDN) 1251. About 1,000 light-years away and drifting above the plane of our Milky Way galaxy, the dusty molecular cloud is part of a complex of dark nebulae mapped toward the Cepheus flare region.
Sunrise at Copernicus Crater
A prominent impact site anchored in the lunar Oceanus Procellarum, Copernicus crater is at the center of this telescopic portrait in light and shadow. Caught in stacked and sharpened video frames recorded on April...
M95: Spiral Galaxy with an Inner Ring
Why do some spiral galaxies have a ring around the center? First and foremost, M95 is one of the closer examples of a big and beautiful barred spiral galaxy. Visible in the featured combination...
Stars, Dust, and Gas near NGC 3572
Star formation can be colorful. This chromatic cosmic portrait features glowing gas and dark dust near some recently formed stars of NGC 3572, a little-studied star cluster near the Carina Nebula. Stars from...
A Volcano of Fire under a Milky Way of Stars
Sometimes it's hard to decide which is more impressive -- the land or the sky. On the land of the featured image, for example, the Volcano of Fire (VolcАn de Fuego) is seen erupting topped by red-hot, wind-blown ash and with streams of glowing lava running down its side.
A Solar Prominence Eruption from SDO
One of the most spectacular solar sights is an erupting prominence. In 2011, NASA's Sun-orbiting Solar Dynamic Observatory spacecraft imaged an impressively large prominence erupting from the surface. The dramatic explosion was captured in ultraviolet light in the featured time lapse video covering 90 minutes, where a new frame was taken every 24 seconds.
Planet of the Tajinastes
What bizarre planet are these alien creatures from? It's only planet Earth, of course. The planet's home galaxy the Milky Way stretches across a dark sky in the panoramic, fisheye all-sky projection composed with a wide lens. But the imposing forms gazing skyward probably look strange to many denizens of Earth.
Boulders on Bennu
An abundance of boulders litters the surface asteroid 101955 Bennu in this dramatic close-up from the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. Taken on March 28 from a distance of just 3.4 kilometers (2.1 miles) the field of view is about 50 meters across while the light colored boulder at top right is 4.8 meters tall.
Moons Near Jupiter
On May 20, a nearly Full Moon and Jupiter shared this telephoto field of view. Captured when a passing cloud bank dimmed the moonlight, the single exposure reveals the familiar face of our fair planet's own large natural satellite, along with bright Jupiter (lower right) and some of its Galilean moons.